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Sharpes Prey Paperback – Nov 5 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Paperback, Nov 5 2001
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Canada / Trade (Nov. 5 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007130554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007130559
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.4 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 422 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #891,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

All of the Sharpe novels, not just the new one, Sharpe's Prey, feature genuinely complex plotting in which the reader is kept engaged not just by a central conflict but by a whole host of subplots handled as adeptly as his main narrative. How does Bernard Cornwell maintain such a high standard in his tales of historical derring-do and danger? The genre is a touch overcrowded these days, but Cornwell is unquestionably in the upper echelons, with a consistency that must give most of his rivals pause. It isn't just the formula that makes these books work so well (high-powered, vividly described action, conflicted protagonists risking both their lives and careers, impressive historical detail), it is another factor that has distinguished the author's books since his early work.

The year is 1807; Lieutenant Richard Sharpe is planning to leave the army. Against his better judgment, he is persuaded to accompany the Hon John Lavisser to Copenhagen in what is essentially an act of political skulduggery: they are to deliver a bribe and (hopefully) avert a war. But with the French ensuring that Europe remains at boiling point, Sharpe finds himself protecting his charge against French agents and struggling to ensure that the Danish battle fleet is not used to replace every French ship destroyed at Trafalgar. Sharpe is a character we know well and like, and his customary characteristics (tenacity, bloody-mindedness) are well to the fore here, but, as always, the other characters are equally strikingly drawn: Lavisser is a splendidly complex figure, as are several of Sharpe's nemeses. But it's that wonderfully adroit orchestration of action and plot that keeps the pulse racing, with the bombardment of Copenhagen and the massive bloodshed resulting in a truly impressive set piece:

Sharpe, from his vantage point on the dune, could see the smoke wreathing the wall. The city's copper spires and red roofs showed above the churning cloud. A dozen houses were burning there, fired by the Danish shells that hissed across the canal. Three windmills had their sales tethered against the blustering wind that blew the smoke westwards and fretted the moored fleet to the north of Copenhagen.

--Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The traditional military adventure yarn remains alive and well in the capable hands of Cornwell, as his up-from-the-ranks hero, Richard Sharpe, though stuck in the lowly role of regimental quartermaster, finds himself in the thick of the 1807 British campaign to destroy the Danish navy anchored in Copenhagen before the French can seize the ships and pose another invasion threat. As ever, the story starts fast, here with the murder of an English army officer in London by Captain John Lavisser a traitor working for the French and as vile a villain as any Sharpe has faced and scarcely lets up until Sharpe's final confrontation with Lavisser during the British bombardment of Copenhagen. Along with the swashbuckling action, Sharpe finds romance with the widowed daughter of Britain's top Danish agent, Astrid Skovgaard, who helps him get over the loss of Grace, the aristocratic young woman he met in his last outing, Sharpe's Trafalgar, but who died in childbirth. Much of the suspense hinges on whether Sharpe will quit the army and remain in Denmark, or persuade Astrid to return with him to England. Unlike Patrick O'Brian, Cornwell doesn't dwell on the details of early 19th-century life, writing in plain prose that neither evokes nor obviously violates period. This is the 18th installment in the Sharpe series (which now covers the years from 1799 to 1821, with a few small gaps). It's anyone's guess how many more are still to come, but Cornwell fans will welcome each and every one.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
The ground has shifted out from under Richard Sharpe's feet in the events that have occurred between Sharpe's Trafalgar and Sharpe's Prey. At the end of Sharpe's Trafalgar, Sharpe was in love with Lady Grace Hale, wealthy, and about to become a father in England. As Sharpe's Prey opens, Sharpe is penniless, downcast, and about to leave the army after his new regiment made him into a quartermaster. As the story develops, the reader is gradually told what happened to Sharpe's dreams.

Sharpe returns to his origins and we see more clearly how Sharpe became the man he is. Just when it all looks darkest, Sharpe is asked to take on a silly assignment . . . keeping a secret emissary alive who has been sent to Denmark to bribe the Crown Prince to give Britain the Danish fleet (the second largest in the world). In those days, Denmark included all of Norway and a good part of Germany and its commercial interests depended on extensive ocean trade.

Early in the story, we realize that the emissary, John Lavisser is really a crook . . . out to steal the bribe for himself. Sharpe finds himself taken in by Lavisser's easy charm but vows revenge. Sharpe has an ace in the whole, there's a British agent in Copenhagen; and Sharpe looks to the agent for aid and shelter. Instead, he discovers a beautiful new widow, Astrid Skorgaard, who begins to take Sharpe's mind off Lady Grace.

The main armed conflict in the story involves the British invasion of Denmark in 1807 to take the Danish fleet which Russia had agreed France could take. Desperately wanting to avoid the possibility of an invasion of Britain, the fleet becomes a top priority. Sir Arthur Wellesley makes a small appearance in the story as the head of a modest land engagement against modestly untrained Danish troops.
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Format: Paperback
I’ve read all of the Sharpe series at least three or four times and I’m always amazed at Cornwell’s ability to bring actual history to life. The first read is always to capture the characters and the story, the second and third to pick up the nuances in the character interplay and the historical narrative in the background. Every layer is just as fascinating. This book is no exception and involves characters from real life, notably Wellington in his role as a military commander against the Danes in Copenhagen, and the British campaign to capture the Danish fleet before Napoleon does. The book also introduces some notable characters that play key roles in later Sharpe novels.
The story starts with Lieutenant Richard Sharpe, newly trained from the Rifles, and in misery due to the death of his lover and first child, his penniless state and his unappreciated state of affairs with the battalion’s senior officers. On the run again from the law, he is offered a job by the Foreign Office to protect an emissary sent to bribe the Danish King. Sharpe soon finds himself embroiled in mystery, treachery and mayhem behind enemy lines.
One of Bernard Cornwell’s best Sharpe novels.
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Format: Paperback
This was my introduction to the Sharpe series. Before buying the books I was big fan of the Sharpe movies on TV, I used to love watching them and am glad to say upon finding the series of books my opinion of Sharpe has raised many times over.
This book is set the peninsular wars. Sharpe has not yet met Harper (there is a small section about harpers experiences though) and he is not enjoying his life as a commissioned officer in his majesty's army. This book gives Sharpe just the kind of adventure he needs to get his morale up for the books that follow.
This book isn't my favourite of the whole Sharpe series but it is the most sentimental to me, Bernard Cornwell is a great author/historian. You don't just get a great story but you get an in-depth history lesson also. Though Sharpe is a fictional character the scenarios in which he is placed are not, so you get a feel for what soldiers and people alike lived through and experienced.
Of all the Sharpe books this is up there with the best, I give this book a well deserved 4 stars (it'd be five but they are reserved for Sharpe's Tiger).
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Format: Hardcover
Exactly what we have come to expect from Mr.Cornwell - intriguing plot, bloodthirsty action, skulduggery, espionage and (of course) the usual healthy dose of lust, both carnal and pecuniary.
Although, in this little-publicised episode in British history, Sharpe seems strangely inept and less logical than normal, doubtless due to his recent bereavement and near-bankruptcy. At times we see the hard man reduced to tears at some small reminder ... this unmanning shows in the guileless way he goes about his task of ensuring that a chest of gold gets to the right place with the desired effect. Instead, he lets himself be duped - and almost killed - several times before gathering his wits; which he does in grand style, saving the day, finishing the job and settling a few scores - looks like it all turns out fine in the end, doesn't it? Read it and find out...
The writing, and the action, flows so well that the book is finished before one realises - leaving one gasping for more.
Once again the tale is based on historical facts, brilliantly dramatised; and summarised in an illuminating appendix - Mr.Cornwell's place at the top of the military history writers' roll of honour is assured. *****
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